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Heat recovery and fouling mitigation for commercial kitchens

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  • Full or part time
    Prof H Thompson
    Prof M Fairweather
    Dr A Young
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The greatest source of energy consumption in commercial kitchens is due to cooking (35%) which consists mainly of thermal processes, the by-product of which is waste heat and effluent (CO2, CO, vapour, grease and smoke particulates). There are opportunities for the local reappropriation of the waste heat, for example dish washer and glass washer equipment, which accounts for 18% of energy consumed. Fouling of heat exchangers is a major barrier to efficacy. Filter batteries are common but reduce the heat quality and create a fan power penalty in addition to generating waste to landfill. The research depth in this project is to understand how the gas, fluid and solid phase pollutants interact with the carrier phase (air) and flow boundaries to maximise capture by exploiting the thermodynamic and fluid dynamic effects on vapour pressure and particle kinetics. The innovative step in this project is to combine both heat recovery and fouling mitigation into a single equipment package local to heat demands. The benefits of which are: the reduction in flow resistance and therefore the fan power penalty; reduced duct fouling, fire risk and cleaning cost; and the locality of heat recovery to demand in the sanitation equipment, both in terms of space and time. The research will involve: critical assessment of existing heat recovery and fouling mitigation devices across the local, adjacent and far-field industries; benchmarking against requirements; identification of key mechanisms for foulant separation and heat recovery; innovation to develop a hybrid system; optimisation of the hybrid system by physical prototyping and simulation (CFD).

The goal of this project is to develop a heat recovery system tolerant of fouling which is packaged for deployment local to heat demand in the kitchen to reduce energy consumption, carbon emissions, and enhance the quality of the kitchen environment and wellbeing of kitchen professionals. This will be achieved by innovations on the existing heat recovery and filter technologies and integration into the extraction hood.

There are a range of both heat recovery and fouling mitigation technologies available. None combine these two effects into a single package, and either present significant fan power penalty, are remote from heat demand, are air-air heat exchange or involve the generation of waste to landfill.

The supervision team will be a collaboration between Mechanical Engineering and Chemical and Process Engineering which together bring the breadth and depth of experience necessary to succeed.

Funding Notes

UK/EU – Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council Studentships paying academic fees of £4,600 for Session 2020/21, together with a maintenance grant of £15,285 for Session 2020/21 paid at standard Research Council rates for 3.5 years. UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course. Funding is awarded on a competitive basis.

How good is research at University of Leeds in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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